Barefoot Monologues

A Journey of the Sole

The NEW New Goals


One thing to know about me is that while I’m really good at setting goals, I’m not always too spectacular at keeping them alive. Kind of like if you bought a really pretty bonsai plant for your house and then only watered it for a week. Some goals are just impossible for me to complete without first getting bored or otherwise distracted.

Sometimes my goals are met, though, at least partly if not fully. As planned, I completed my first 50K race this year. Also I ran a better half marathon. And in about two weeks my husband and I are moving across the country to San Diego, a goal we have had in mind since sometime around forever. Not too bad for 2012, I’d say.

And then there’s the goals I never completed: lose 30 pounds before the Pineland 50K. Finish a 20-mile training run. A 30-day running streak. 100-ups. The Paleo diet. Learn to love gardening.

All of these things were somewhat of a failure. And I think that’s because they were all things I thought I should try, rather than what I really wanted to do. They are all similar, though, in meaning: a way of working toward self-improvement, and added self-awareness.

(Well, except for the gardening stuff. I’m never going to learn to love mowing the lawn and planting flowers. Forget it. So instead we are hiring a gardener to deal with the new place.)

It is a good thing to always aim at improving yourself. No matter where you are in life, there’s always room for a challenge or a change. So I have revised my short-term list of goals, based on my own current version of self-improvement and upward change. It’s not your list of goals, or Scott Jurek’s, or Vanessa Runs’…it’s mine. It’s not a long one, either. And I think that is why it just might work.

1. More Ultras

This one is simple. I want to run more ultras. 50k’s, 50 miles, and perhaps beyond that. Or perhaps not. Thing is, I don’t have a set time goal for any new distances (beyond 50K), because that’ll just set me up for stress and ultimate failure. Also I haven’t signed up for anything at all, yet. And I still like my half marathons and 10k’s, so I’m not sure I’ll ever completely eliminate them from my repertoire like some of my ultra friends have. I just know that I have so much more to learn from the ultra marathon, and I’m finding that I very much look forward to the experience.

2. Trails + Hills

This year I fell in love with the trail, which is very awesome. But I am still really fucking bad at running up and down hills. It’s not that I can’t do it. I really just don’t do it. Not very often, anyway. There aren’t a lot of hilly trails near me, and I don’t spend much time looking for them, either. So as a result, when I do find myself at the bottom of some hills, I run out of gas pretty quickly. But I can get better, I know it. I am strong and enduring. All it will take is some practice and some dedication to the other goals I’ve got listed here.

3. More Challenges

I have a lot of very talented mountain-running trail monkeys as friends. Shelly and Jason Robillard, Jesse Scott, Mr. Shacky-Shackleford, Vanessa Runs, Pat Sweeney, et al. Contrary to what you might think, I don’t want to be them. I don’t care if I run as fast or as far as any of them, ever. But, what they’ve shared about their journeys is very helpful to me. I have learned a lot about myself by watching them, following the goals they have achieved, and even by getting to run with some of them. I want more challenges, I want to experience more of the things that running can offer me, and I want to grow as a person because of it. I want to be faster, fitter, and to enjoy longer runs. And once I get there, hey…I guess I’ll have those crazy monkeys to thank for it.

4. Healthier Eating Habits

Yeah, I say it every day. I really gotta stop eating pizza and chocolate. Start counting calories again. Get back on Paleo. Maybe try vegan. Soon. Next week. Once we move. before my next ultra. Someday. Blah, blah.


It never works. So, to hell with diets. It really just time for me to grow the fuck up and stop eating like a twenty year old. I’m 33 now. Pasta makes my belly fat and my belly fat keeps me from running fast. With the rest of my goals shifting towards better training and ultras, this is my goal to eat for the purpose of running fuel. Chances are, if I do this right and run as often as I want to, I’ll lose weight reasonably fast. And then I’ll finally be able to run reasonably fast.

5. Cross-Training

I am notoriously bad at cross training. I tell people that I don’t run for exercise, because if I did I’d probably only run twice a year. I don’t do well with exercise for the sake of exercise. It has to be a challenge, a game, or an art form for me to even consider wanting to do it regularly.

But I really need to get stronger to become a better runner. Something has to change. So next week I am cancelling my gym membership in Boston, and I’m not getting another one in San Diego. And I’m not joining any expensively ridiculous Crossfit gyms, either. Nope. Instead I’m buying myself a mountain bike, and I’m going to ride it on off days and for simple errands to cut down on gas usage. And I’m going to make myself a slosh tube (thanks for teaching me, Jason!) and get better at things like burpees and squats. I don’t need a gym membership to cross train. I just need some fucking motivation.

And that concludes my list. My hopes are that the change in scenery, the complete overhaul of my work hours and lack of commute, and my ultra-badass friends living nearby will all be helpful motivating factors. If nothing else I’ll be totally out of excuses.


8 thoughts on “The NEW New Goals

  1. You don’t need a crossfit gym membership to do crossfit anymore than you need barefoot shoes to run barefoot. I have never done formal crossfit but I do crossfit-style cross training several times a week. They’re great for squeezing in cross training before work. I do four minute tabata workouts of burpees, air squats, kettle bell swings (I use a tool bag with some heavy stuff thrown in). Tabatas are great because they are a great workout but only take four minutes so it’s hard to come up with an excuse not to do it.

  2. I never lost weight until I stopped dieting.. it didn’t start disappearing until I removed gluten and processed foods from my diet… I swear I eat more calories than I had before, but if they are whole foods, and preferably organic, the weight loss is a bonus. It’s weird, but gluten plays a big part, whether you are sensitive to it or not… anyway, just my two bits.. I still have a ways to go.. often easier said than done. But I love your goals… and looking forward to Carlsbad!!

  3. Trisha, all I’ve gotta say is thanks to you, I’m on Day 78 of the 30+ Day Challenge (still need to get out for today’s run). I have 193.31 miles accumulated so far.

    I did improve on my time for the Salinas Valley Half Marathon by 13 minutes from last year because I just kept with the challenge and my longest run before the Half was 6 miles.

    MY goal now is to start working on the distance and get comfortable with it. Also, I eat like a 27 year old (I try to watch what I eat, but I get distracted). That’s changing with a Biggest Loser contest my cousin got me in at her work. The pot is at $2000 with a $50 buy in . . . so a bit of incentive.

    Without the running, I’d be floating north of 250 lbs. As it is, I bounce around (hah!) 235 and 240. With the contest over the week before Thanksgiving, I’d like to be sitting comfortably under 200lbs. Preferably just a tad over what the BMI say’s I should be.

    My main driving factor is that I’m going to be 40 years old around this time next year. I want to be as nimble as I was back then, and I’m getting there, Dammit!

    Thanks again Trisha!

    • Wow. What an amazing compliment. I am so glad to read this, and so proud of you! I was not able to complete the 30 day running challenge myself because of some crazy circumstances, and I wasn’t sure I would try it again. But reading your story has really inspired me to go for it again, once we move to San Diego and life is a little less in the way. So, thank YOU.

      I hope you’ll keep me updated of your amazing progress.

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